Alarm setting for the critically ill patient : A descriptive pilot survey of nurses’ perceptions of current practice in an Australian Regional Critical Care Unit

Christensen, Martin, Dodds, Andrew, Sauer, Josh, & Watts, Nigel (2014) Alarm setting for the critically ill patient : A descriptive pilot survey of nurses’ perceptions of current practice in an Australian Regional Critical Care Unit. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing, 30(4), pp. 204-210.

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Abstract

Aim:

The aim of this survey was to assess registered nurse’s perceptions of alarm setting and management in an Australian Regional Critical Care Unit.

Background:

The setting and management of alarms within the critical care environment is one of the key responsibilities of the nurse in this area. However, with up to 99% of alarms potentially being false-positives it is easy for the nurse to become desensitised or fatigued by incessant alarms; in some cases up to 400 per patient per day. Inadvertently ignoring, silencing or disabling alarms can have deleterious implications for the patient and nurse.

Method:

A total population sample of 48 nursing staff from a 13 bedded ICU/HDU/CCU within regional Australia were asked to participate. A 10 item open-ended and multiple choice questionnaire was distributed to determine their perceptions and attitudes of alarm setting and management within this clinical area.

Results:

Two key themes were identified from the open-ended questions: attitudes towards inappropriate alarm settings and annoyance at delayed responses to alarms. A significant number of respondents (93%) agreed that alarm fatigue can result in alarm desensitisation and the disabling of alarms, whilst 81% suggested the key factors are those associated with false-positive alarms and inappropriately set alarms.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
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5 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 79470
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: alarm fatigue, nuisance alarms, alarm desensitisation, false alarms
DOI: 10.1016/j.iccn.2014.02.003
ISSN: 1532-4036
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Clinical Nursing - Secondary (Acute Care) (111003)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Deposited On: 15 Dec 2014 04:03
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2014 22:18

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